Графични страници
PDF файл



The prominent place which this institution holds among the colleges of the country, as well as the special attention there paid to biological teaching and research, give a special interest to the methods there employed and the facilities possessed.

Students applying for admission are required to present some one scientific subject for examination, an elementary knowledge only being required. To the undergraduate student several combinations of studies, all leading to the degree of bachelor of arts, are open. Biology is most prominent in a group arranged as a preliminary to medicine, and requiring ordinarily three years for its completion. Before taking up the study of biology the student is required to spend a year in the study of physics and chemistry, doing a considerable amount of practical work in each.

The work in biology begins with a course in general biology, which is preliminary to all the other courses. This consists of three lectures and 6 hours' laboratory work from the beginning of the session to the middle of April. "Attention is directed to the broad characteristic phenomena of life and living things, rather than to the minutiae of descriptive botany or zoölogy, or the character of orders, genera, and species. In the laboratory the student learns how to observe, how to verify and describe what he observes, how to dissect, and how to use a microscope; he examines selected vegetable and animal types from unicellular organisms, as the yeast plant and amoeba to the fern and flowering plant on the one side and the crayfish and a mammal on the other. In the lecture room attention is mainly given to the fundamental biological facts and laws which the particular plant or animal under consideration is fitted to illustrate, the object being rather to give the student an idea of what is meant by the terms living thing, plant, animal, tissue differentiation, life history, organ, function, etc., than to teach him the elements of botany and comparative anatomy as commonly understood."

Running parallel with this and occupying 2 hours weekly is a series of lectures and exercises in human and comparative osteology. In this the human skeleton is carefully studied, and then one skeleton from each order of mammals, after which two or three skeletons are taken up from each of the main groups of vertebrates.

At the conclusion of the course in general biology the subject of embryology is taken up and continued to the end of the year. "In this course the student who has already in the general biology course observed the natural arrangement of animals and plants in diverging series, ranging from a simple bit of living matter to highly complicated organisms, studies the individual development of one of the higher ani4889- 4

mals from its start as an almost formless bit of living matter to its final highly complex structure. The increasing differentiation of tissues and organs which he has noted as higher and higher plants and animals were dissected, he now sees exemplified by the chick embryo in different stages of development. At the same time a good foundation is laid for subsequent advanced study in vertebrate morphology."

Beginning at the same time as the course in embryology, and occupying 2 hours weekly to the end of the year, is a course in systematic botany and plant analysis.

In the second year a course in mammalian anatomy is given. This consists of two weekly lectures with laboratory work lasting from the beginning of the year until Christmas. In this connection each student makes a thorough dissection of some mammal, working with all of the minuteness of the medical student upon the human subject.

A course in animal physiology and histology is given, consisting of three lectures and 6 hours' laboratory work weekly through the year. "This course is designed to give the student a good knowledge of the healthy properties and mode of working of the various tissues and organs of the higher animals, man included; also to give him a good knowledge of their microscopic structure. In the laboratory each student examines for himself the histology of each organ and tissue, and thus learns the use of reagents and imbedding materials, the methods of mounting specimens, etc.; he also studies practically the composition of the more important organs and tissues, the chemistry of digestion, the fundamental properties of living muscles and nerves, the beat of the heart, the phenomena of reflex action, etc. Important physiological facts which require special skill for their exhibition or the employment of especially delicate instruments, are demonstrated to the class. There will be as a rule one such demonstration weekly."

[ocr errors]

A course in the elements of zoölogy, consisting of two lectures weekly and related laboratory work, continues from Christmas to the end of the session. In this attention is paid to the structure, relationship, and classification of animals. This work may be continued by students desiring to do so at the marine laboratory, conducted by the university during the summer vacation.

The biological laboratory is a handsome building 84 by 52 feet, and having three stories and a basement. The first floor is devoted to class instruction, containing the lecture-room, storerooms, and a general laboratory for class use 32 by 48 feet area. This room is fitted up for class work in general biology, comparative anatomy, physiology, and physiological chemistry, and the arrangement of the room as regards light and general convenience is all that could be desired. On the second floor are two smaller laboratories for advanced work, one in botany, the other in animal morphology. On this floor are also the special library of the department, the museum and preparation rooms, and the photograph room.

The third floor is largely devoted to the uses of advanced workers in physiology and histology. Four work rooms are used in physiological investigation, one being adapted for general work, another having special appliances for the study of the circulation, a third being specially fitted for muscle physiology, and a fourth for physiological optics. On this floor is also situated a workshop provided with lathes and all necessary tools for working in metals.

In the basement are two rooms specially arranged, the one for physiological chemistry, and the other for electrophysiology. The basement also contains the animal storage room and the cremation room.

All of these rooms are unusually well suited for the work for which they were designed, and the equipment of each room is ample. The general undergraduate laboratory will comfortably accommodate fifty students, and the university possesses a sufficient number of microscopes for each student to have one assigned for his own use. Most of the smaller pieces of physiological apparatus are also provided in great abundance, so that a considerable number of students may be occupied with the same piece of work at the same time.

The equipment for advanced work in morphology and physiology is very complete. For the former the university possesses numerous objec tives of high power, cameras, imbedding apparatus, automatic and sliding microtomes of the most approved designs. The apparatus for physiological investigation cost over $10,000, and there is a yearly appropriation of $1,500 for making additions to the stock. There are many large and costly pieces of apparatus devised for the study of special problems, notably, the physiology of muscle and nerve, and the physiology of the circulation. In addition there are numerous forms of recording apparatus and other appliances generally needed in physiological investigation. A mechanic is kept constantly employed in keeping this apparatus in repair and making any new pieces that may be needed either for class instruction or for research.

No large museum has ever been collected. The university has had no funds to spend in gathering together and maintaining a large collection. The policy has been to get together whatever materials were necesary for the work of teaching and for purposes of research to send her students to the homes of the animals to be investigated. The museum is accordingly a rather unique collection of skeletons, dissected preparations, and entire alcoholic specimens. It contains a considerable number of types of invertebrates, enough to give the student a good idea of most of the classes and orders. The local flora and fauna are quite fully represented by collections made by the naturalist's field club. There is also a collection of ferns and mosses of considerable size and value. The biological library is one of the most important features in the work of investigation. It contains a large number of the standard reference books, complete sets of nearly all the leading journals, and it now receives over forty of the current biological journals in four languages.

In connection with this may be mentioned the "Journal Club," an association of instructors and advanced students, which meets weekly for the discussion of the more important articles in the current publications.

Two fellowships, yielding $500 each, are open each year to graduate students in biology, and there is in addition the Bruce fellowship in biology, open only to those who have obtained the PH. D. degree, and giving facilities for special advanced research.

In this connection should be mentioned the "Studies from the Biological Laboratory," a journal issued at irregular intervals, which has now completed its fourth volume. The publication was begun in 1879 in order to secure publication in the United States for the results of researches carried on in the laboratory.

Mention should also be made of the Chesapeake Zoological Laboratory, which was established by the university in 1878, but after nine seasons of successful work is temporarily discontinued. This laboratory was located at different points along the southern coast from the Chesapeake Bay to the Bahamas. The attendance varied in the different years from 6 to 16 workers, and only those were received who were qualified to pursue original investigations. As a result a large number of papers have appeared based on researches there conducted, and greatly increasing our knowledge of the anatomy, embryology, life history, and systematic relationships of animals already known, as well as containing descriptions of many forms previously undiscovered.



The biological work required of all students consists of a course in anatomy and physiology, in which daily recitations are held through the first half of the freshman year, and a course of daily recitations in zoology and botany continuing through the second term of the junior year.

No preparation in natural science is required further than a course in physical geography. In connection with the college work no facilities for laboratory work are provided, and none is required. There is a museum containing anatomical specimens as well as natural history collections. These are used in illustrating the courses given.


The admission requirements for the freshman class of the classical course include only the ordinary English studies and languages. The scientific and engineering courses require an elementary knowledge of physics.

In the classical course biology is required only in the senior year, when the subjects botany and zoölogy are treated during one term. In

the scientific course the first preliminary training is derived from mineralogy, which is studied during one term of the freshman year. During the second and third terms of the sophomore year botany is taken up, followed in the first term of the junior year by zoology.

In these courses practical methods are made use of, and students receive instruction in the use of the microscope and other means of refined observation. The laboratory is located in Pardee Hall, where are also stored the collections made by the Natural History Society, which is an important auxiliary to the department. The herbarium is rich in North American plants, and contains nearly the entire flora of Pennsylvania.



Students applying for admission to the classical course are examined in elementary physiology, while those entering the scientific course are expected to have some knowledge of physical geography, physics, and botany. In connection with the latter, a written description of twentyfive species of phanerogams based on analyses made by the student must be submitted. The requirements for entrance to the scientific course will be greatly raised in the fall of 1891. They will then include requirements in physics, chemistry, zöology or geology, and botany, with laboratory work in each, also physiology.

The college work begins with a course in general biology in the first term of the freshman year, occupying 4 hours per week, followed in the second term by a course in the comparative anatomy and physiology of invertebrates, and in the third by a course in the structure and development of plants. In the second term of the sophomore year, 4 hours weekly are devoted to vertebrate zöology, and in the third term the same time is given to embryology. Throughout the junior and senior years biology is offered as an elective to all students, opportunities being given for work of a more advanced character. Laboratory work is required in connection with all these courses. In every course to which 3 schedule hours weekly are allowed, there are 4 hours of laboratory work and one recitation. In a 4-hour course there are 6 hours spent in the laboratory and one recitation, or 4 laboratory hours and two recitations at the pleasure of the instructor.

The biological laboratory is well equipped for purposes of class instruction, and has in addition separate rooms for research in the departments of histology and embryology. Each student is supplied with a microscope and the usual appliances. He is required to make drawings and written descriptions of the forms studied. Attention is first given to unicellular animals and plants, after which a practical study of the structure and functions of higher plants and animals is made on a series of typical forms.

« ПредишнаНапред »